Hilary Duff and her BF made a half-assed apology for their racist Halloween costumes
Imagine you’re a celebrity, and the internet is furious after you and your boyfriend get photographed in offensive outfits at a Halloween party. For a crash course in how not to fix this, look at how Hilary Duff apologized for her Halloween costume.
On Friday, Duff and her BF Jason Walsh were spotted at a Beverly Hills Halloween party in cute couples costumes. Did I say cute? Sorry, I meant racist. Duff went as a sexy pilgrim (standard Puritan gear, but with a slit skirt to show off some leg), while Walsh went as a Native American warrior, complete with feather headdress and red face paint. The sexy pilgrim costume came with a cute toy gun, in case you forgot what’s been happening to Native Americans ever since white people landed in America.
The photos of their costumes were met with a lot of justified anger. One Twitter user wrote that Duff was now on the shortlist of the “most tone deaf to privilege and racism” competition, while another called for her to “apologize for your disgusting costume & to Native people of this land who continue their struggle to be seen, heard & respected.” Meanwhile, Walsh set his Instagram to private after serious backlash on his account.
So the pair apologized. Well, sort of.
Duff tweeted, “I am SO sorry to people I offended with my costume. It was not properly thought through and I am truly, from the bottom of my <3 sorry.” Walsh took to Instagram for his half-ass apology: “I meant no disrespect. I only have admiration for the indigenous people of America. In hindsight I would not have made that decision. I apologize to anyone I may have offended.” Ah, the old “sorry you were offended by the offensive thing I did, but my motives were pure so I haven’t really done anything wrong” non-apology. Truly a classic.
Then again, the root of the problem isn’t the lack of a genuine apology, although that doesn’t help; it’s the question of why Walsh and Duff thought these costumes were a good idea in the first place. Treating a marginalized culture that was almost wiped out in the process of establishing white supremacy as a costume is never a great plan. And at a time when members of the Sioux Nation are facing aggressive police action for protesting against the Dakota Access oil pipeline going through their tribal lands, putting on redface and dressing up as a perpetrator and victim of genocide seem like especially bad moves.
Cultures are not costumes, folks. When are people going to get that message?